Monthly Play Things: Oddly Specific Almond Milk Preferences

Monthly Play Things: Oddly Specific Almond Milk Preferences

Librarian's note: With cases on a rise again, we'll be reverting to free MPTs for the month so you can amuse yourself with some at-home tasting activities.

The Gist: In which you do an almond milk tasting so you can develop oddly specific almond milk preferences.

You will need:

1. A few different kinds/brands of almond milk (we recommend 3~4)

2. 3~4 cups/mugs

3. This tasting placemat

4. This tasting sheet

5. A pen* (if you're printing out the sheets)

6. A microwave/any means to heat up the almond milk (optional)

7. Coffee or tea (optional)

8. Extra paper for notes (optional)

For this month's Monthly Play Thing, we'll be doing an Almond Milk Tasting!


Because we had caffeine-intolerant vegan folks complain that we never create tasting experiences that they can do.

Inclusivity is important. nods nods

And so, we've designed this monthly play thing to help you find which almond milk you like best for every and any applications.

P.S: If almond milk isn't your thing, there's nothing stopping you from using the same process for other mylks.

Without further ado, let us get oddly specific about almond milk!

Instructions- Standard Tasting

We're going to assume you've already got all the materials on-hand, and have printed out the necessary sheets/placemats if you're a analogue person.

Step 1: Lay out the almond milk

You don't have 4 of the same cups? Neither do we. (PS: Your set-up should have almond milks IN the cups, just saying.)

Pour your almond milks into glasses (or any receptacle of your choice), and label them so you know which brand of milk is in which glass.

Note: We've designed this test so you can do it all by your lonesome, which means it will not be a blind test. If you'd like to do this as a blind tasting, you can get another human to pour and label the cups.

Step 2: Taste the almond milks

You may now taste your almond milks.

Keyword: taste.

Taste is not drink.
Don't just gulp the milk down! You're doing a tasting!

We recommend the following tasting process:

👁 Observe the almond milk, the color, the viscosity of the liquid

👃 Smell the milk, note down any aromas you smell (if any)

👅 Take a generous sip of the almond milk, and don't immediately swallow! Hold it in your mouth, swirl it around, observe the texture of the almond milk. Is it thick and creamy? Is it thin? Notice the flavors you are tasting (you can use the flavor wheel to help you if you draw blank)

⏳ Then you swallow. After you swallow, don't reach for the next milk. Observe the sensations the almond milk has left in your mouth. Does you tongue feel a little chalky? Or does your mouth still feel like its coated in cream? How long do these sensations linger for? Note these things down.

Repeat the above process for all the milks you're tasting, noting down your observations on the tasting sheet (or any paper).

Step 3: Developing your preference

Based on your tasting notes, consider:

  • Which almond milk did you like the most for the particular application you're tasting for? Why?
  • Which one did you NOT like? What did you not like about it?
  • Are some almond milks more suited for certain applications than others? (e.g. one may be better for drinking straight, another might be more suited for adding to cereal?) Why is that?

Note down the winning almond milk(s) and the different purposes you might use a specific brand of milk for and why!

Step 4: Understanding your preference

Prepare your pen and paper (or whatever note-taking alternative you prefer) and look through your tasting notes.

Based on your notes:

  • Do you notice certain patterns in your almond milk preferences? (e.g. you prefer richer almond milks, or ones that smell like vanilla?)
    You can even go one step further here and see what are characteristics you like for different applications. (e.g. for drinking you like thicker almond milks, but for having with coffee, you like thinner ones.)
  • Are there patterns in the almond milks you dislike? (e.g. you don't like almond milks that smell like vanilla)

(Optional) Step 5: Getting oddly specific

(If you've been doing the test blind, now's the time to reveal the answers!)

Look at the ingredient list and nutrition information on the packages for your almond milks.

Compare the ingredients and nutrition information of the almond milks you like, and also the ones you dislike.

  • Do the almond milks that you enjoy share any ingredients/nutritional information in common?
  • Do the almond milks you dislike share any ingredients/nutritional information in common?

Congratulations! You now have information to judge new unknown almond milks you may encounter and decide if it might fall into your preference or not!

Additional Instructions

Hot Almond Milk Tasting

The process is basically the same as tasting cold almond milk but you heat up your almond milk first!

Step 1: Heat up your almond milk

You can decide how anal specific you'd like to be with this.

The easy way (requires a microwave)

- Pour your almond milks into microwave-safe cups
- Pop ALL of them into the microwave and heat them up to your preferred temperature

I have no microwave and am not fussy

- Pour your almond milk into a pot and heat it up to your liking
- Pour the almond milk out into a cup
- Repeat the process with all the other almond milks

The fussy no-microwave way

- Prepare your cups/mugs for the almond milk
- Pour hot water into the mugs so they are warmed
- Prepare as many post as you have almond milks
- Pour the almond milks into their respective pots, making sure to keep track of which pot is which almond milk
- Heat all your almond milks to 80°C
- Pour hot the hot water from the cups/mugs
- Decant the heated almond milk into the cups/mugs. Making sure to take note which mug holds which brand of milk

Step 2: Repeat Standard Tasting Steps 1-5

😊 Yep, you do it all over again.

Almond Milk with Coffee/Tea

It probably goes without saying, but we'd still like to make a note for our own peace of mind: This is to see which almond milk goes best with a certain specific coffee OR tea. So please use the same coffee/tea in all the almond milks you're tasting.

If you'd like to see how the almond milks taste with different types of coffee or tea, you'll need to repeat these steps for each type of coffee/tea.

For example:

  • Tasting 1: Nespresso + each kind of almond milk
  • Tasting  2: The Clipper Tea Co. Earl Grey + each kind of almond milk.

Step 1: Brew your coffee or tea

Brew your chosen coffee or tea the way you'd normally like to drink it.

Step 2: Add almond milk to coffee or tea

Add the same amount of almond milk to your brewed coffee or tea

As for how to add almond milk to your coffee or tea, well that's up to you?

Some people like to add cold almond milk to their mug of brewed coffee/tea, other people prefer cooking the almond milk with their coffee/tea in a pot. The exceptionally fancy people might even heat up their almond milk and foam it before adding it to their drinks.

So you do you.

Step 3: Repeat Standard Tasting Steps 1-5

And yes, here we go again! Don't worry, it gets easier the more times you do it. Soon you won't even need to refer to this article anymore!

Bonus Tasting Tips: Taste Descriptors

Struggling to come up with words to describe the flavor of your almond milks?
Here some of our descriptors to inspire you!

Click to reveal

Nutty, Raw Nuts, Toasted Nuts, Burnt Nuts, Chinese Almond Tofu, Buttery, Brown Butter, Popcorn, Floral, Wheat, Grain, Malt, Vanilla Protein Powder, Lactic, Medicinal, Salty Minerals, Clean, Muted

We hope that you now have (unnecessarily) specific preferences for almond milk.

You're welcome.

👨‍🎨Artist's Notes

aka why we made this

3 months ago, we did a milk tasting to celebrate World Milk Day.

We were very serious about it, had a whole set-up, used a thermometer and took notes and everything.

It felt a little ridiculous, to take milk so seriously.
It's milk for crying out loud. Milk.

But for this exactly reason, it was fun.

There's something mischievous about taking something that's supposed to be boring and mundane and playing with it. It's almost as if we're breaking some unspoken rules of society and finding pockets of fun where we're not supposed to.

So we thought, since we had so much fun, why not share that fun with you guys?

And so, Oddly Specific Almond Milk Preferences.

Ah but yes, why Almond Milk?

Well, it's all about inclusivity.

Everyone has a vegan friend these days, and would it be sad that they'll have to miss out on all the fun?

As for why almonds, because there are all sorts of dairy alternatives out there...
I'm actually an oat milk person (because dairy and my digestive system have a tenuous relationship), but we know quite a few people who are gluten-sensitive and finding gluten-free oat milk is hard.

In the end almond milk seemed like the most common kind of nut milk out there, and I mean to do a tasting you kind of need variety.

MPT Making Outtakes

We had a lot of fun making this MPT, it was quite eye-opening to see how different almond milks from different brands taste, and even more interesting to consider what the creators were thinking when they came up with their drink.

The only downside was realizing, just how few brands sell small juice-pack sized almond milks.

We now have 3 litres of almond milk in our fridge.


Did we mention we're oat milk people?


Ri Chang
The intersensory workaholic who has made life their job. Also an artist-padawan...and kind of long-winded. 康復中的工作狂. 正努力練習認真生活